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Mar 25th, 2012
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Tell me all about Berger terminal performance. #7014851
12/28/17 09:29 PM
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Iíve never given them a chance because of too many horror stories about on-game performance. In the last few years Iíve heard fewer bad things about them, while a lot of very experienced and trustworthy people claim they are dead reliable. Between that, their stupid accuracy and B.C.ís, theyíre hard to ignore.

I want to know everything about their terminal performance. The good, the bad, and the ugly. How does the bullet hold up, or not hold up? How does it handle heavy bone and soft tissue? What can be expected of high velocity impacts, say, 3200 fps +? Do they damage a lot of meat? What gave them a bad rap for blowing up or penciling through and losing game or wasting meat, if they donít do that? Which lines are hunting friendly and which ones are not?

Those are just some sample questions off the top of my head. I want to hear anything anyone has to say with actual on game experience. Specifics, general observations, pictures, etc. My mind is open.


Re: Tell me all about Berger terminal performance. [Re: Sneaky] #7014883
12/28/17 09:51 PM
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Like any bullet, you can get pencil through wounds and you can get major fragmentation, depending on what you hit. The Berger VLD-H bullets are known for their dramatic exit wounds and heavy carnage. I have seen some crazy exit wounds with a VLD-H. But, I have had some reports of ice picks, meaning straight pass through with no expansion. Generally, the VLD-H cause major fragmentation. If you want to minimize this, the target bullets or the Hybrids "should" hold together better. The Berger target bullets have a thicker jacket, and the hunting bullets have a thinner jacket. So, the hunting bullets will open up easier.

Also, the 28 Nosler with the 195 EOL have had some awesome results. The shots taken from 400+ yards have reported animals dropping in their tracks with good penetration and good exit wounds. One of the guys I load for shot a large buck in the neck from 90 yards with a 28 Nosler and 195. The bullet did not exit! The buck dropped, and the entire neck and neck bone were destroyed. The faster you push them, the more fragmentatious the bullet should be.

I have also had a customer be very unhappy with the terminal performance of a 155 VLD-H in a 308 at 2900 fps. He said he shot a doe at about 100 yards, the bullet not only didn't exit, but the bullet didn't reach the vitals. He said the bullet near flattened out and went outwards around the entry wound instead of going into the animal. He said they shot it again, and inspected it afterwards. He switched to a bonded bullet for hunting after that. But he liked the accuracy for a target load, since it shot so well.

Some hunters like to salvage all the meat they can. These hunters think the Berger bullets are too destructive on meat, and do not like the bullet. The bullets are effective, but mess up too much meat. So, in that sense, the bullet does not make a good hunting bullet. In this case, I recommend a good bonded bullet or heavier bullet for slower impact speeds, less fragmentation, and deeper penetration.

I have taken many critters with a 140 VLD-H when I used to hunt with a 260. It always worked well for me with dramatic exit wounds.

I like the heavier for caliber bullets, like a 140 grain for a 6.5mm, 180 grain for 7mm, and 190-210 grain for 30 cal.



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Re: Tell me all about Berger terminal performance. [Re: Sneaky] #7014892
12/28/17 10:00 PM
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Iím a heavy bullet guy, myself. Thank you very much for the info.

What have you seen with the ELD-X at higher velocities?


Re: Tell me all about Berger terminal performance. [Re: Sneaky] #7014899
12/28/17 10:05 PM
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I just realized Berger makes a 180 elite hunter in 30 cal. Would be nice for a 308...

Re: Tell me all about Berger terminal performance. [Re: Sneaky] #7014901
12/28/17 10:08 PM
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On the ELD-X, my direct reports from customers have been good. Almost all exits, with a few bullets recovered. The bullets recovered were all on the far side under the skin. They showed perfect mushroom shaped expansion. I recommend these bullets, and I have been very impressed with them. Accuracy has been VERY good, also. I have done some load work ups and they have shot very tight, including some very long range groups. Their BC's seem to be very accurate as well, though I personally have not tested them.

The 2 rifles I have tested in were tight bore (.289" bore) in 300 Win Mag. The BC's were higher than advertised, which I expected, since this bore squeezes the bullet some and makes it longer for a higher BC. (I've seen the same thing with my 225 BTHP bullet).



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Re: Tell me all about Berger terminal performance. [Re: Cleric] #7014902
12/28/17 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted By: Cleric
I just realized Berger makes a 180 elite hunter in 30 cal. Would be nice for a 308...


Yes, it would!! I am loading 1000 rounds of 308 now for a guy with this bullet. I plan to shoot it some and get some good data with it, also.



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Re: Tell me all about Berger terminal performance. [Re: ChadTRG42] #7014906
12/28/17 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted By: ChadTRG42
Originally Posted By: Cleric
I just realized Berger makes a 180 elite hunter in 30 cal. Would be nice for a 308...


Yes, it would!! I am loading 1000 rounds of 308 now for a guy with this bullet. I plan to shoot it some and get some good data with it, also.


My only concern is the 308 I am thinking is a shorter barrel (16in) which is great for weight but I would lose FPS and I will have to run some numbers if the higher bc is lost due to velocity

Re: Tell me all about Berger terminal performance. [Re: Sneaky] #7014911
12/28/17 10:14 PM
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Yes. This is for a 26" or 28" barrel. If I run a shorter barrel in the 308, I like dropping down in weight to pick up some speed. A 150-155 grain is perfect for a 16"-18", maybe 20".



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Re: Tell me all about Berger terminal performance. [Re: Sneaky] #7014947
12/28/17 10:47 PM
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So Chad, if you're shooting shorty barreled rifles (6.5 creed, 7mm08, 270win) suppressed and most of your hunting shots are under 300 yards. Only two priorities are accuracy and death. Are the high bc bullets vld's, eld-x's etc. a waste? Would you steer a guy a different direction?


Re: Tell me all about Berger terminal performance. [Re: Sneaky] #7014957
12/28/17 11:01 PM
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I've used the 6mm 105gr Hybrid and 224 80gr target vld on deer, pigs and yotes with great results. The 6mm did some serious damage on pigs. It didn't always exit on close shots ( running 3000fps at the muzzle) but would break the off side shoulder. Pigs went no where and dropped on the spot.

Used the 80gr vld this year out of a 22 Creedmoor. In haste of the approaching season the load I worked up was slow at 3120fps. I shot a buck behind the shoulder at 133yds. The bullet destroyed the lungs and top of the heart the exited leaving a 2" exit. I shot some trash pandas with it at 280yds and it was devastating and gruesome.

I've started loading 115gr vld for my dad's 25-06 running 3075fps that he's used on pigs and yotes. On pigs it doesn't always exit with shoulder shots but drops them. On yotes it will leave softball size exits up close.


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Re: Tell me all about Berger terminal performance. [Re: Sneaky] #7014988
12/28/17 11:35 PM
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I shot a buck with a 95 VLD hunting 243. Center punched the heart. .243Ē hole in and dime size exit. He ran 200 yards. Decided they werenít for me but was talked back into them. 130 VLD Hunting and this time took the high shoulder as that is what everyone claims Bergers are best for. .277Ē hole in and dime size exit. 200 yards later found the buck. Wonít ever shoot them again. Sucks too because both guns love them. I have pics but canít upload from my iPhone for some dang reason



Re: Tell me all about Berger terminal performance. [Re: JLP83] #7015013
12/28/17 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted By: JLP83
So Chad, if you're shooting shorty barreled rifles (6.5 creed, 7mm08, 270win) suppressed and most of your hunting shots are under 300 yards. Only two priorities are accuracy and death. Are the high bc bullets vld's, eld-x's etc. a waste? Would you steer a guy a different direction?


If you run the numbers on drop and wind drift on the high BC bullets compared to the lighter bullets with a lower BC, there is not much difference inside of 300 yards. The distance isn't far enough to really take advantage of the high BC. For a 6.5 CM, I'd lean towards a 130 grain VLD-H, or a 123 ELD-M, if you want. But try them all and see what performance you like.

My son shot his spike a few weekends ago with my 308 Win 168 A-max bulk ammo out of his Tikka 308. I forget the exact speed out of his 20", but it's about 2450-2500 fps I think. The buck he shot, the bullet destroyed the heart and the buck dropped to his knees for a few seconds, then rolled over dead. There was a small exit hole, and I don't think the bullet expanded much. So we may drop down to a 150-155 grain to get some speed up and more expansion.



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Re: Tell me all about Berger terminal performance. [Re: ChadTRG42] #7015029
12/29/17 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted By: ChadTRG42
On the ELD-X, my direct reports from customers have been good. Almost all exits, with a few bullets recovered. The bullets recovered were all on the far side under the skin. They showed perfect mushroom shaped expansion. I recommend these bullets, and I have been very impressed with them. Accuracy has been VERY good, also. I have done some load work ups and they have shot very tight, including some very long range groups. Their BC's seem to be very accurate as well, though I personally have not tested them.

The 2 rifles I have tested in were tight bore (.289" bore) in 300 Win Mag. The BC's were higher than advertised, which I expected, since this bore squeezes the bullet some and makes it longer for a higher BC. (I've seen the same thing with my 225 BTHP bullet).


Iíve got some 175ís for my STW I need to work up a load for. I hear a lot of good about them, so Iím going to give them a fair shake in that rifle.


Re: Tell me all about Berger terminal performance. [Re: dee] #7015033
12/29/17 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted By: dee
I've used the 6mm 105gr Hybrid and 224 80gr target vld on deer, pigs and yotes with great results. The 6mm did some serious damage on pigs. It didn't always exit on close shots ( running 3000fps at the muzzle) but would break the off side shoulder. Pigs went no where and dropped on the spot.

Used the 80gr vld this year out of a 22 Creedmoor. In haste of the approaching season the load I worked up was slow at 3120fps. I shot a buck behind the shoulder at 133yds. The bullet destroyed the lungs and top of the heart the exited leaving a 2" exit. I shot some trash pandas with it at 280yds and it was devastating and gruesome.

I've started loading 115gr vld for my dad's 25-06 running 3075fps that he's used on pigs and yotes. On pigs it doesn't always exit with shoulder shots but drops them. On yotes it will leave softball size exits up close.


Sounds good. Iíve never been too concerned about exits, as long as the penetration is reliably sufficient to kill.


Re: Tell me all about Berger terminal performance. [Re: Sneaky] #7015066
12/29/17 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted By: Sneaky
Originally Posted By: dee
I've used the 6mm 105gr Hybrid and 224 80gr target vld on deer, pigs and yotes with great results. The 6mm did some serious damage on pigs. It didn't always exit on close shots ( running 3000fps at the muzzle) but would break the off side shoulder. Pigs went no where and dropped on the spot.

Used the 80gr vld this year out of a 22 Creedmoor. In haste of the approaching season the load I worked up was slow at 3120fps. I shot a buck behind the shoulder at 133yds. The bullet destroyed the lungs and top of the heart the exited leaving a 2" exit. I shot some trash pandas with it at 280yds and it was devastating and gruesome.

I've started loading 115gr vld for my dad's 25-06 running 3075fps that he's used on pigs and yotes. On pigs it doesn't always exit with shoulder shots but drops them. On yotes it will leave softball size exits up close.


Sounds good. Iíve never been too concerned about exits, as long as the penetration is reliably sufficient to kill.


They have been more than enough for myself. Granted my personal experiences are with target type which have a thicker jacket. That being said the hunting vld in the 25-06 has been equally as impressive.


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Re: Tell me all about Berger terminal performance. [Re: Sneaky] #7015085
12/29/17 12:52 AM
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I use bergers 230 Hybrid targets in my rum and have had nothing but great results with them. The exit wounds are fantastic when they do exit though, the closest animal I have shot with them was a mule deer at 450 yards with no exit. However it turn the heart and lungs into jello and dropped the animal where it stood. Granted this was all with a 300 RUM pushing the 230 hybrid at approx 2985 fps at the muzzle.

Re: Tell me all about Berger terminal performance. [Re: Sneaky] #7015093
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7 Rem Mag, 168 VLDH, 3050 @ muzzle, average sized mature whitetail buck. This is the entrance at 120yds, behind the shoulder. Not my idea of hunting bullet performance. I also shot 8-9 150lb hogs with the same load. No exit, no blood trail, and if I hadn't seen where they ran off to I would have never found them. I'll never use them again.


Re: Tell me all about Berger terminal performance. [Re: Sneaky] #7015127
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With 135 gr Berger classic hunter shot 4 does from 135 to 702 yards ... all exited with two DRT and two ran a few yards and piled up. All were pass thruís
Also shot a Red Stag and nice buck at 175 and 355 respectively both ran a few yards and piled up. Bullets were on far side after breaking shoulders.
Rifle was 6.5 SAUM

Last edited by DStroud; 12/29/17 01:29 AM.

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Re: Tell me all about Berger terminal performance. [Re: Sneaky] #7015146
12/29/17 01:41 AM
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7mm 180 gr VLD-H, MV 2950 fps.

5 whitetail 100-250 yards
1 mule deer 60 yards, heart lungs
1 bull elk, 200 yards, heart lungs
1 cow elk, 465 yards, both lungs
1 cow elk, 515 yards, brain stem
1 sow, 648 yards, lungs
1 sow 750 yards, lungs.

All were on the ground from 0 to 10 seconds.



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Re: Tell me all about Berger terminal performance. [Re: Sneaky] #7015171
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Iíve got a question about the Berger target bullets, with the thicker jacket. Any idea about what velocity they will stop reliably expanding as they slow down?


Re: Tell me all about Berger terminal performance. [Re: FiremanJG] #7015173
12/29/17 02:00 AM
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Originally Posted By: FiremanJG
7mm 180 gr VLD-H, MV 2950 fps.

5 whitetail 100-250 yards
1 mule deer 60 yards, heart lungs
1 bull elk, 200 yards, heart lungs
1 cow elk, 465 yards, both lungs
1 cow elk, 515 yards, brain stem
1 sow, 648 yards, lungs
1 sow 750 yards, lungs.

All were on the ground from 0 to 10 seconds.


What twist do you have on that rifle?


Re: Tell me all about Berger terminal performance. [Re: Sneaky] #7015246
12/29/17 02:48 AM
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1:8.5

After thinking about your first set of ceomments, I think....

The pencil through, lack of positive results were light (in my opinion) for caliber, and powder charge. Meaning, if I dropped down below a 168 gr in the same 7 Rem Mag, I'm betting I would not have as much good to say.

Buddy of mine had me load work a .300 Win Mag, factory Tikka. I loaded it with 210 gr VLD-Hunting. He has had zero complaints. In fact the opposite. He has called me with the attitude of "dayum, that thing is bad!"



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Re: Tell me all about Berger terminal performance. [Re: Sneaky] #7015254
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Originally Posted By: Sneaky
Iíve got a question about the Berger target bullets, with the thicker jacket. Any idea about what velocity they will stop reliably expanding as they slow down?
Slowest ive seen them expand was 1700ish on a antelope that was with the 215's from a 300 winmag, left a golfball size exit wound, I know of people who have had similar results down to 1500. But I think at that point I would want a larger rifle.

Last edited by cmorsch; 12/29/17 02:58 AM.
Re: Tell me all about Berger terminal performance. [Re: FiremanJG] #7015268
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Originally Posted By: FiremanJG
1:8.5

After thinking about your first set of ceomments, I think....

The pencil through, lack of positive results were light (in my opinion) for caliber, and powder charge. Meaning, if I dropped down below a 168 gr in the same 7 Rem Mag, I'm betting I would not have as much good to say.

Buddy of mine had me load work a .300 Win Mag, factory Tikka. I loaded it with 210 gr VLD-Hunting. He has had zero complaints. In fact the opposite. He has called me with the attitude of "dayum, that thing is bad!"


Thatís what I figured.

That makes sense. Most of the people that swear by them, that Iím familiar with, run heavy for caliber bullets.


Re: Tell me all about Berger terminal performance. [Re: cmorsch] #7015269
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Originally Posted By: cmorsch
Originally Posted By: Sneaky
Iíve got a question about the Berger target bullets, with the thicker jacket. Any idea about what velocity they will stop reliably expanding as they slow down?
Slowest ive seen them expand was 1700ish on a antelope that was with the 215's from a 300 winmag, left a golfball size exit wound, I know of people who have had similar results down to 1500. But I think at that point I would want a larger rifle.


Seems more than reasonable.


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